Last Saturday, we were at the Questors Theatre in Ealing again. We simply couldn’t miss this one. Number one, it’s about Romeo and Juliette, galavanting around Ealing Common. Number two, it’s written by Richard Harris and Denis King – coming together again, after the award-winning Stepping Out.
Ealing’s very own Richard Harris is one of Britain’s best playwrights and television writers. His shows are performed all around the world, and Stepping Out is probably his best work. His television masterpieces include Touch of Frost, Shoestring and The Darling Buds of May.
The award winning composer Denis King is well-known for Privates on Parade, Black Beauty and Lovejoy.
PLOT: In a nut shell, the musical takes place in Ealing. Romeo is widower Ron Montague, and Juliette is divorcee Bernie. They meet at a dancing club which Ron’s friend Michael tricks him into joining. Bernadette is a breath of fresh air for Ron but his family, especially his daughter-in-law Bette, do not approve. Ron decides to stand up for himself, and few home truths come out.
There are no gangs or murder, and the ghetto is replaced with Ealing Common. This is about hard working middle class families in Ealing who face the same challenges as a working class family in Poplar might face when it comes to matters of families, love and heart.
The transition between the scenes and intercuts are executed incredibly smoothly and cleverly. Songs are performed with real vigour and steal the show. It was indeed very entertaining, romantic, uplifting and heart-warming.
Both Richard and Denis turned up to a very first read through, with Denis playing and singing all the songs himself. Richard has been at many rehearsals, at times adding lines on the spot or rewriting speeches.
Director, Mark Fitzgerald, was truly honoured and really enjoyed working on this production. He was hoping the Questors team would do it justice, and they have indeed.
Thank you for such a beautiful portrayal of Ealing and a great Saturday night!
West 5 Story runs to Sat, May 17th , with evening performances at 7.45pm on May 13th -17th, and a matinee performance on May 11th at 2.30pm.
Suitable for ages 12+
£13.00 (£12.00 conc, £7.00 under-16/student), final Fri/Sat £15.00 (£14.00 conc, £8.00 under-16/student)